FBI joins search for Chris Jenkins; kidnapping possible

Monica LaBelle

The FBI opened a preliminary inquiry Tuesday into the possible kidnapping of University senior Chris Jenkins, who has been missing since Thursday.

Coleen Rowley, special agent in the FBI’s Minneapolis division, said evidence in the investigation of Jenkins’ disappearance has moved the FBI to “assist local law enforcement authorities in conducting a logical investigation.”

“There are not strong indicators a federal crime has been committed,” Rowley said. She said she doesn’t know what evidence moved the FBI to be involved in the investigation.

Rowley said a preliminary inquiry is different from a full investigation because the former is limited in the duration and investigative techniques used.

For a full investigation to take place there would have to be evidence that a kidnapping had taken place across state lines, Rowley said.

She said investigators presume a kidnapping up to a certain age, but that “as the age gets older, it’s a little more discretionary.”

Jenkins’ roommate Ben Kroon, an economics senior, said he thinks it is good the FBI is involved.

“It’ll get the Minneapolis police moving,” Kroon said, adding he hasn’t had time to absorb the possible kidnapping because of his involvement in the search for Jenkins.

“I don’t think it’s really hit me at all,” Kroon said. “I haven’t had time to sit and think about it yet.”

A prayer vigil for Jenkins – organized by his family, friends and the campus’ Newman and St. Lawrence Center – will take place at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Northrop Plaza.

“We would like the support of as many kids as possible,” said Terese McCabe, a Jenkins’ family friend.

“Tomorrow we ask the students not go to any searches. We want them to go to class,” said Steve Jenkins, Chris’ father.

He said Patty Wetterling of the Jacob Wetterling Foundation will speak at the vigil. Jenkins’ mother and sister will also speak at the vigil.

Wetterling’s son Jacob was abducted in St. Joseph in 1989 and has never been found; the foundation works nationally to protect children and young adults from kidnapping and sexual exploitation.

Wetterling gave the Jenkins’ family guidelines to organize their search for their son.

Steve Jenkins encouraged people who have information about his son’s disappearance to call (612) 333-4646. “We need anyone who has anything,” he said.

A Web site in conjunction with the search for Jenkins was put up on Monday night:

www.findchrisjenkins.com.


Moncica LaBelle welcomes comments at [email protected]